I spent five months studying video trailers, talking with authors who use them, checking results, determining various forms of ROI, et cetera.
Prices varied from homebrew to several thousand dollars for a “professional” trailer. Regardless of time, effort, and money, few experienced a direct link between their video trailer and book sales.
Simultaneous to that study I did 1-2 book signings/month (prior to the Covid pandemic) and talked with many book buyers about what got them to purchase a book and documented their comments.
Two factors dominated purchase decisions: 1) a trusted friend’s recommendation and 2) Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.
The book buyers I interviewed did not find video trailers interesting, and few led directly to sales. Comments included “I see pictures and blurbs but one’s just like another. They don’t really tell me what the book’s about”, “I see lots of trailers and get numb to them” and “A trailer really has to stand out to interest me.”
Asked what would work, the most repeated answers were “Tell me the story”, “Let me experience it”, “Give me an idea what it’s about and maybe I’ll get interested.” Some booksigning venues let me read from my work. I consistently sold more books when I read from them than when I didn’t. All of these items correlate to Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature; giving the reader an idea of book content, not marketing content. Readers know immediately if they’ll enjoy a book or author’s style.
Sabine knows how to do dramatic readings (she’s done voice-overs, commercials, dubbings, staged readings, been a corporate spokesperson, is an accomplished stage and film actress …). I shared her video with 1) a test audience and then 2) some test markets and got results in 15m. Test audiences commented that her reading gave them a much better idea of 1) the type of story, 2) what it’s about, and 3) my writing style than any traditional video ever could.
#Authors, #Writers, and any others in the #WritingCommunity, Sabine is available to do similar videos for your books (she’s already done some for EU-based authors). You can view her demo reels (English starts about 35s in) and and IMDB.
Please note I do not guarantee results, I only offer that current data indicates dramatic readings (I suggest Sabine do them) produce recognizable, attributable results.